Wouldn’t it be cool if you could use the display on one Mac (or Windows PC) as the display for another Mac. Yes, Virginia, there’s an app for that. It’s called Air Display.
One Display, Two Macs
One of the issues most of us who carry around a Mac notebook have is screen real estate. The 11-inch MacBook Air is just too small for any serious screen work.
The 13-inch MacBook Air is better, but still too small, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro display, despite the lovely Retina resolution, isn’t much better.
That’s why many Mac users attach a second display to a Mac notebook. If size matters, and more is betters, a second display can be a Godsend for visual hunger.
The problem is the cost of a second display. Apple is proud of the 27-inch Thunderbolt display but it costs only a few hundred dollars less than a full iMac.
If you already have an iMac (or a Mac with a connected display) nearby, and you want a bigger display for your Mac notebook, Air Display is the Mac app to have.
Air Display turns an iMac display into a wireless display for a Mac notebook (or Windows PC).
In other words, whatever is on your Mac notebook’s screen now displays on another Mac’s screen. Think instantly larger screen without having to buy another display.
Air Display works between Macs (and Windows PCs) using the same Wi-Fi network or the same local Ethernet network connection. For the MacBook, it’s like having a larger screen attached to the notebook (except the larger screen is on a Mac already).
Air Display does even more and turns an iPad or iPhone into a second display connected to your Mac. Either extend the Mac’s Desktop or simply mirror what’s on your Mac on the other devices.
Think about the possibilities. Your Mac gets the larger screen of another nearby Mac. Put what’s on your Mac’s screen on your iPad or iPhone (it also works on some Android devices, and Windows).
Sounds cool, right?
Reality is a little bit different, though. Air Displays works well but there’s a slight lag in the second screen’s display. It’s not much, but it’s notable. And, putting some of what’s on your Mac’s display on an iPad or iPhone sounds like fun, but isn’t as practical as using a much larger display.